Border truths

  I really enjoyed the article “One Nation Under Fire.” I am a contract archaeologist working at the San Miguel Gate, monitoring the archaeological sites during the construction of vehicle barriers. I thought that your article was very true to the situation. So many people seem to underestimate the issues along the border and on the reservation. The border is truly a unique atmosphere, both politically and socially. I think that the borderlands region that spans the Tohono O’odham nation is an even more distinct environment due to its history, the landscape and its geographic isolation. The isolation and openness of the desert in this area is strongly juxtaposed by the feeling of being watched constantly. We often see people on the south side of the fence spying on us through binoculars from hilltops. At first glance, it looks like an open empty space, but the more time you spend there, the more you see signs of human activity (this ironically follows the lines of archaeology as well, which is why I’m really out there). I love the area, I love the desert, and I love the truth of the situation.

Maren Hopkins
Tucson, Arizona